Improvements are ahead for Halls High School – nothing big, but several needed projects.
We noticed a line item for $78,500 to Lewis Group Architects “for exterior improvements to Halls High School” on the April agenda for Knox County Commission.
A quick call to Patti Bounds, District 7 school board member, secured this info:
$1 million for physical plant upgrades in the current year’s budget was not spent. The plan included freshening up the front of the Halls High school, but when KCS building officials inspected the property, they decided to “do it right,” by including all exterior surfaces.
“We slowed it down and the prices went up,” said Bounds. She is meeting today (4/9) with Superintendent Bob Thomas one-on-one as the school board works on the preliminary budget. “If something changes, I’ll call you,” she said.
Principal Spencer Long had other requests, Bounds said, including making conference rooms or small classrooms in the former locker bays. These spaces are currently boarded up – not a good look. Other requests are for painting the gym, fixing some ceilings and carpeting some areas. Long also asked for new curtains and lighting in the auditorium, which is shared with Halls Middle School.
Bounds hopes for interior painting as well. She said KCS procedures require competitive bidding for larger projects and an architect must draw plans for the bid. So, we’ve got a wish list and uncertain funding. Stay tuned.
Building projects are the great push and pull among school board members and administrators who face needs that exceed revenue every year. The last big improvement at Halls High School was the cafeteria, built in the 1980s when Roy Mullins was principal.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.